I praise you Lord, for I am wonderfully made

I praise you Lord, for I am wonderfully made.

Do we believe these words today? Let us ask ourselves right now, “Do I believe that I am God’s beloved son/daughter?” “Do I believe that I am worthy of God’s love?”

I praise you Lord, for I am wonderfully made.

Recently I was reflecting with Fr. Mark on my experience here at Saint Patrick. I realized that sometimes I become focussed on my sinfulness and my brokenness so much, that I am unable to proclaim God’s love to others because I have forgotten his love for me. Today, I think it is a common spiritual sickness for us to believe that we are not lovable or deserving of God’s love. But this is a lie. Our readings today remind us that God has wonderfully made each of us. We heard in our first reading that we are “made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and [our] God is now [our] strength!” We really are “precious in God’s eyes” (Isaiah 43).

I praise you Lord, for I am wonderfully made.

We cannot give to the world what we do not have. If we want this world to be set on fire with the love of Christ, we must first understand how much God loves us personally. This must be something we accept in the depths of our hearts. When we do that we can hear Christ’s desire for us. And His desire for us is to be a “light to the nations”. This means that we become joyful Evangelists. To be a light to the nations is to be confident in God’s love for us, so that we can be the love of Christ to the world.

I praise you Lord, for I am wonderfully made.

Today Saint John the Baptist shows us how to be these Joyful Evangelists. Our Gospel today teaches us that John understood who he was in the eyes of God and so was able to accept his mission of preparing the world for Christ. If we look at his statue behind me, Saint John is pointing to the Lamb; Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was a light to the nations always pointing to Christ, and he could do this because he was confident in God’s love for him.

Today I think the Lord is reminding us of his profound love for us. Consequently, he is calling us into action. Go out, He says, and be a sign of my love for the world. Be “a light to the nations” so that my “salvation may reach to the ends of the earth”. Today, let us give thanks to God by being windows to Christ.

I praise you Lord, for I am wonderfully made.

Confident Discipleship

What do we place our confidence in today? I know that Fr. Mark places his confidence in GPS, because without it he would be lost! Just kidding Father.

Our readings today challenge us to place our confidence in Christ. We heard in Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: “Such confidence we have through Christ to God.” The reason for this confidence is that Jesus is the New Covenant, because He is the one who teaches us of God’s profound love for us, he also shows us how to love God, and finally, Jesus is the New Covenant because he sends us out into the world to be bearers of God’s love. This is also what we hear in the Gospel today. Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. In other words, Jesus came to show us that the law is grounded in love. The fulfillment of the law is to love God with our whole hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mt 22:37-40). Thus, Jesus is calling us to be confident disciples!

There are three marks of a confident disciple. The first mark is for us to be confident in God’s love for us. Remember the movie Finding Nemo? Marlin, Nemo’s Father, loses his son. The whole movie is Marlin’s search for his son. Obviously Marlin loved his son Nemo very much. This is what God does for us. Jesus is sent by our Father in heaven to search out sinners, so that we can come back to him. The fact that God would become man to bring us back into relationship with him should give us great confidence in God’s love!

The second mark of a confident disciple is that during sufferings and trials he remains confident in God’s love. Whenever we experience suffering, we must remember that so did Jesus. He suffered too on the cross. God has not stopped loving you when suffering comes!

Finally, the third mark of a confident disciple is one who trusts that the Holy Spirit will strengthen him to participate in Jesus’ Mission. Confident disciples remember that they are called to bring Christ to the world and that Holy Spirit will give them the strength to do so.

So, as we gather around this holy altar today, let us be confident disciples today. Let us remember that the Eucharist is both an encounter with God’s love for me and also the spiritual nourishment needed to be a confident “minister of the new covenant.” Let us respond to that love by confidently bringing Christ to the world.